I’ve done this loop, my Nooksack Loop, again and again and again, each time refining it just a bit. And the refinements keep getting smaller and smaller as there really isn’t much in the way of new trails or roads happening along this route. It looks like the short section of railroad grade between Cornwall and Squalicum Parks is preparing to become a trail, but other than that nada.
So Sunday, when I rode this loop last, I looked a little harder at the trail/dirt road that runs through the Dewey area to where the Squalicum Creek/Bay to Baker Trail ends at Iron Gate. The ideal Nooksack Loop Trail route would essentially run the flat along the creek rather than go up and down and up and down following the streets to the dead end on Iron Gate. So upon looking a bit harder at this area I found some bad news and some good news. The bad news was that the east side of Hannegan along the creek, while it is mostly a nice dirt road, is that it is all private land that is both well marked against trespassing and well used by the owners, so I just skipped it and rode up Bakerview before turning south at the Hannegan light.
The good news is that there is an obviously well travelled trail, easily rideable, between Hannegan and the end of the Squalicum Creek/Bay to Baker ends at Iron Gate. It’s an interesting trail though to say the least. On the north side of the trail sits City of Bellingham land that is labelled as habitat restoration area with a newish split rail fence and a stylish green and white sign. On the south side of the trail lies the creek, as well as an expansive and well established homeless encampment/dump. Quite the environmental juxtaposition, again, to say the least. North side of the creek is restored habitat while south side of creek is obviously, from the odor, leaching raw sewage into the same very stream. Gotta love Bellingham’s diversity. Even so, I rode this section of trail and will do it again. Oh, and it’s not really suitable for trailers or unattended kids.
And the whole 45 mile loop? Yes, I will keep doing it and refining it. Don’t know what I am looking for as far as refinements, maybe something that keeps the route closer to the river, or maybe just something that avoids the long straight wasteland of Mission Road between Everson and E. Smith. 😉